AskDefine | Define toughness

Dictionary Definition



1 enduring strength and energy [syn: stamina, staying power]
2 the property of being big and strong [syn: huskiness, ruggedness]
3 the elasticity and hardness of a metal object; its ability to absorb considerable energy before cracking [syn: temper]
4 impressive difficulty [syn: formidability]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the state of being tough and strong (withstanding force)
  2. In the context of "of a metal": the resistance to fracture when stressed
  3. formidable difficulty

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Toughness, in materials science and metallurgy, is the resistance to fracture of a material when stressed. It is defined as the amount of energy per volume that a material can absorb before rupturing.

Mathematical definition

Toughness can be found by taking the area (i.e., by taking the integral) underneath the stress-strain curve. The explicit mathematical description is:
\frac \mbox \mbox = \int_^ \sigma\, d\epsilon
  • \epsilon is strain
  • \epsilon_f is the strain upon failure
  • \sigma is stress
Another definition is the ability to absorb mechanical (or kinetic) energy up to failure.

Toughness tests

Tests can be done by using a pendulum and some basic physics to measure how much energy it will hold when released from a particular height. By having a sample at the bottom of its swing a measure of toughness can be found, as in the Charpy and Izod impact tests.

Unit of toughness

Toughness is measured in units of joules per cubic metre (J/m³) in the SI system and inch-pound-force per cubic inch (in·lbf/in³) in US customary units.
toughness in German: Zähigkeit
toughness in Spanish: Tenacidad
toughness in Galician: Tenacidade
toughness in Italian: Tenacità
toughness in Japanese: 靭性
toughness in Portuguese: Tenacidade
toughness in Swedish: Seghet
toughness in Chinese: 韌性

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Spartanism, abstruseness, adamantness, adhesiveness, arduousness, astringency, austerity, authoritarianism, backbone, body, bothersomeness, bottom, bullheadedness, burdensomeness, callosity, callousness, chutzpah, clabbering, clamminess, clotting, coagulation, cohesiveness, colloidality, complexity, complication, concreteness, consistency, courage, curdling, decisiveness, demandingness, density, difficultness, difficulty, discipline, doughiness, dourness, durability, durity, endurance, energy, exactingness, firmness, flintiness, force, fortitude, gameness, gelatinity, gelatinousness, gluelikeness, gluiness, glutinosity, glutinousness, grimness, grit, gumlikeness, gumminess, guts, gutsiness, guttiness, hairiness, hard-bittenness, hard-nosedness, hardiness, hardness, hardness of heart, harshness, heart, heart of oak, heartiness, heaviness, immovability, immutability, impenetrability, implacability, impliability, incrassation, induration, inelasticity, inexorability, inflexibility, inspissation, intestinal fortitude, intransigeance, intransigence, intransigency, intransigentism, intricacy, irreconcilability, jellification, jellylikeness, laboriousness, lentor, lustihood, lustiness, mass, materiality, meticulousness, mettle, mettlesomeness, might, mightiness, moxie, mucilaginousness, nerve, obduracy, obstinacy, onerousness, oppressiveness, palpability, pastiness, persistence, persistency, pith, pluck, pluckiness, ponderability, potency, power, powerfulness, regimentation, relentlessness, resistance, restiveness, retention, rigid discipline, rigidity, rigor, rigorism, rigorousness, robustness, ropiness, ruggedness, severity, slabbiness, sliminess, snugness, solidity, soundness, spirit, spissitude, spunk, spunkiness, stability, stalwartness, stamina, staying power, steadiness, steeliness, sternness, stick-to-itiveness, stickiness, sticking power, stiff temper, stiffness, stodginess, stoniness, stout heart, stoutness, strength, strength of will, strenuousness, strictness, stringency, stringiness, stubbornness, sturdiness, substance, substantiality, substantialness, syrupiness, tackiness, tangibility, tenaciousness, tenacity, thickening, thickness, tightness, toilsomeness, treacliness, troublesomeness, true grit, unalterability, unbendingness, unchangeability, uncompromisingness, ungivingness, unrelentingness, unyieldingness, vigor, vigorousness, viscidity, viscosity, viscousness, vitality
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